Wednesday, October 24, 2012

N - Nurture

When we think of nurture, we may think of caring for someone, perhaps even gently. That is partially true, but one definition is to train or to educate. In our JOURNEY, this is how I perceive nurture. Certainly, there is an element of care, but ultimately caring for others so they can not only care for themselves, but also care for others. This is Paul's statement in Ephesians 4.11-13. God has given some to the church to help others be nurtured to conduct ministry and subsequently be united in the faith, united in the knowledge of Christ, and become complete in Him.

So nurture is about ministry. Ministry is one of the five functions recorded in the early church (Acts 2.45).  It is about helping others see a need, and then fulfilling a need. But, for a believer, this should be done in the name of Christ. It is not enough to just help someone for the sake of helping. Jesus said to make disciples. Disciples are followers and they need someone (Someone) to follow. So as we help others by ministering to them, as a believer, we must also share that a greater purpose exists, and that is to help them see Jesus.

The reality is that there are more needs than any one person can meet. There are more than any one church can meet. But there are not more than God can meet. When we minister to others in our strength, and without a greater purpose, we may help others for a short time, but miss a bigger opportunity. And as a pastor, my role is to be a coach-player in this scenario. Yes, I should minister to others, but as Paul wrote, I must also prepare others to do this. The reasons are multiple, but two are primary.

First, I cannot meet as many needs by myself as a congregation full of people can meet collectively.

Second, as I do all of the ministry, everyone misses out on the blessings. I miss out due to being overworked, stressed, etc. More importantly, I miss out on seeing others grow in their faith as they faithfully serve God by serving others.

Third, others miss the opportunity for growth. They do not have a chance to develop their gifts and better understand how God has crafted them for the good works they are supposed to do (Ephesians 2.10).

So, nurture is indeed important. Like the other letters (O, U, R, E), there is a lot of overlap in the scope of the JOURNEY. We O-bserve as we nurture, we U-nite in purpose as we nurture, we R-evere God as we nurture, and when we nurture in Jesus name, we E-voke the hearts of others to consider the true ministry of our Savior.

As we JOURNEY through this life, let us remember that ultimately our purpose is to worship God and reflect His presence in our lives. Being equipped to serve is a part of that process. Using our gifts for His sake in ministering to (nurturing) others in His name, provides the opportunity for that reflection to shine, showing we are truly living in, not of (fotonni).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.